I sat down in Temple of Zeus not knowing what to expect. Who were these two artists whose trap singles “Glue” and “WOA” have received over 46,000 and 19,000 plays respectively? How did two Cornell students decide to break out of the preppy, Ivy League mold and make, not just rap, but trap music?
Go to any frat basement on a Saturday night and you’ll be sure to hear the pounding sounds of Migos, Future or Cardi B, the most prominent trap artists of our generation. Perhaps Cornell is about to become home to the next big trappers of the 2010s. Tony Maré and Jonathan Hall met two years ago through their fraternity, Delta Upsilon. Neither of them knew, at the time, that they were embarking on a journey that would see them spending hours on end in Cornell’s studios, and even mixing and mastering their material in Los Angeles.
Tony Maré is a junior economics major from Los Angeles, California. He has been listening to hip-hop since he was 9 years old, far before he could understand the vulgarities that play a role in making the genre so unique and powerful. In high school, Maré took a music production class. After that, he began experimenting with making digital instrumental tracks. His influences come from the work of a wide range of artists from different periods of the hip-hop movement. He has learned how to switch up flows through studying the piercing, poetic, nasty flow of Nas, along with other OGs in the game such as Rakim, Wu Tang and Jay Z. More directly, however, his style is informed by contemporaries such as Travis Scott.
Jonathan Hall is a senior and a psychology major from Delaware. His love for hip-hop comes mainly from listening to modern, fun, trap artists like Travis Scott, Future and Migos. He shares Maré’s love for freestyling, but does not have prior experience in production. Hall is the master of hooks. His expertise is in crafting memorable themes on which the rest of the song will sit. When he is not spitting fire, he enjoys spending time with the beach and hanging out with friends.
It all started with late night freestyling sessions in Delta Upsilon’s house. According to Maré and Hall, freestyling is a ritual, shared and enjoyed by many of the fraternity’s brothers. After realizing that their freestyles had the potential for something greater, the two linked up. Hall and Maré shared one of hip-hop’s greatest and most important goals: entertaining people. Their idea: to create funny party music that could ignite extreme excitement at their own parties.
Fast forward to about 7 months ago, and their dream began to materialize. The duo signed to Electric Buffalo Records, a non-profit record company and subsidiary of the Cornell Media Guild. Their group name is still in the works, but I was assured that it is coming soon. With the help of TJ Hurd, Assistant General Manager of the Cornell Media Guild, they released their debut singles: “WOA” and “Glue,” available on Soundcloud. The two have received a lot of attention from these songs, and if you happen to stumble into one of their parties, it’s likely that you’ll hear the entire fraternity spitting their lyrics, which most of the brothers have memorized.
They have just released a new song on Souncloud, “Soirée” feat. Jamie, mixed and mastered at Studio City Sounds in Los Angeles.
Adam Kanwal is a freshman in the College of Human Ecology. He can be reached at [email protected].